In January I began a delightful ---very, very, slow---journey through the Old Testament. I have been stuck in Exodus 12 for over a week now. Is it coincidental that I am fastened to the Passover at this time of year? I don't think so.
Through these days in Exodus 12, God and I have been conversing about all sorts of things... the blood on the door, the "judgment of the Egyptian gods", the changing of the months/calendar... I am asking and seeking and knocking. Lord, show me more of You. I want to know You.
I have been looking for His heart and His Truth. ...looking and listening to know Him more with every sentence.
And, I got stuck. ...on yeast. What is up with the yeast, Lord? I don't understand. He tells the people over and over and over again (at least 5 times in one chapter) to get rid of the yeast in their homes for the Passover celebration. To eat bread without yeast. It is spoken of more frequently than the sacrificed lamb. Clearly important. Why, Lord? Would you tell me more?
For days I have been walking through my day, musing when it comes to mind. What is up with the yeast, Lord? While blow drying my hair yesterday morning... will you tell me more about the yeast?
This isn't the first time I have been 'stuck' in a passage during this new journey. The Zipporah and foreskin passage had me stunned for some time,too. (Exodus 4) I felt Him give me a slight bit of clarity on that one... but, there have been others. And, I don't assume God has to share all His secrets with me. But, certainly, I can ask. ...and, seek and read and wait.
So, I have been waiting...
I know that many people would say that yeast represents evil and the purging. Purity is an issue here. And, I think there is something important about this. Obviously this is important to God. But, I also had in the back of my mind the memory that Jesus says something about yeast... and the Kingdom of God. Certainly the Kingdom of God is not evil---or something that needs to be purged, right? And, in Exodus, God tells them to get rid of it for only a short period of time. Not forever. So, certainly it isn't about the yeast---or that it is something utterly horrid (like getting rid of the adultery or the blasphemer).
Then, yesterday, I sat again with my journal... asking. I felt a leading to look at what Jesus DID say.
Oh! Okay, Lord, thanks. Here we go!! A clue. Love it!
Jesus does warn them a few times about the yeast of the Pharisees. ...and the yeast of Herod. ...and the yeast of the Sadducees. Okay, Lord, so it isn't ONE particular type of yeast.
And He talks about how a 'little goes a long way'--- the kingdom of God is like yeast and a mustard seed.
Yeast impacts, yeast permeates. It permeates.
Then, as I continued through my day... and, the conversation continued.
A random thought in the kitchen... Where did yeast first come from?
Oh! that is an easy search---google! Thanks, Lord!
Yeast was first noted to be used 5,000 years ago in Egypt. They believed it was a miracle (not understanding the science behind fermentation). Bingo!
I almost wanted to cry. I was getting it now. He was answering me. Something inside me was shifting. I think I get it a bit, Lord!
The Israelites had been living in Egypt for 400 years. They had adopted so many things, to be sure, from Egyptian society and culture. Yeast was only one small reality that had likely become "so normal" to their every day---so essential, so important. Yeast and it's wonderful power had been taken into their lives from Egypt. And, God says... get rid of it for a time. Watch out and be on guard against the yeast of the Egyptians, Jesus might have said.
Do without it. You don't need this 'miracle'. I will provide for you.
I wander through my day wondering... what "yeast", Lord, from this culture that I live in, has become "just normal" or expected. What am I relying on? What ways of thinking have permeated or impacted me? What "benign" realities from this world am I resting in... what teachings, or thought systems do I need to "be on guard" against and look at. . ...or rid myself of for a time.
So, for today, my chat with God about yeast continues...